Coronavirus: a financial emergency that turns treading water into drowning

Things were looking up for our family, with a new job and a big move. Then coronavirus turned our lives upside down

My husband got a new job a few weeks ago. We moved back to the city from upstate, borrowing money from his mother to put down our security deposit. Great news, life-changing, it was supposed to be.

For years, we’ve been looking for a leg up; we’ve been broke and barely getting by. I’ve been working between four and six jobs at a time, and my husband had been working toward something more stable and with benefits for years. His new job will provide health insurance in three months. His commute will be 20-30 minutes instead of an hour and a half. We sunk what little money we had into moving, contingent on that new salary, contingent on me continuing to work all four jobs I’ve been working the past couple years, and prepared for our new, more comfortable life.

Continue reading...

As the west is in lockdown, China is slowly getting back to business | Daniel Falush

After the coronavirus outbreak, life is returning to normal here. Other countries face a much longer wait

When China shut down its economy at the end of January to try to control the coronavirus outbreak, it was a bold and terrifying experiment. No one had tried anything similar. It was unclear whether the virus’s spread could be curbed, let alone halted. It was also possible that, as a respiratory virus with highly variable symptoms, coronavirus was simply too transmissible and too difficult to detect for these measures to work. But work they did and now China is the first nation to enter into the next phase of the pandemic – attempting to reinstate everyday life against the backdrop of coronavirus. But how much can economic life and daily freedom be restored without risking a “second wave” of the virus?

Since I returned six weeks ago to my home in Shanghai from a trip to Europe, the city has progressively come back to life. First, the number of people on the streets started to increase. Then restaurants began to reopen and, slowly, filled up. As of this past week, it is no longer compulsory to wear a mask when going shopping or on public transport, and it is no longer compulsory for restaurants and shops to take the temperatures of customers, as they had been doing previously.

Continue reading...

Looking for a distraction? Here are 25 of our favourite long reads

If you feel like reading about something other than coronavirus – and filling some more time during lockdown – then dive into a few of these highlights from the long read archive

When a drilling platform is scheduled for destruction, it must go on a thousand-mile final journey to the breaker’s yard. As one rig proved when it crashed on to the rocks of a remote Scottish island, this is always a risky business

Continue reading...

Astrophysicist gets magnets stuck up nose while inventing coronavirus device

Australian Dr Daniel Reardon ended up in hospital after inserting magnets in his nostrils while building a necklace that warns you when you touch your face

An Australian astrophysicist has been admitted to hospital after getting four magnets stuck up his nose in an attempt to invent a device that stops people touching their faces during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr Daniel Reardon, a research fellow at Melbourne’s Swinburne University, was building a necklace that sounds an alarm on facial contact, when the mishap occurred on Thursday night.

Continue reading...

Country diary: last of the winter reed

Haddiscoe Island, Norfolk: Wally Mason may well be the last person in Britain to cut thatching reed the traditional way

It’s easy to lose your bearings among the vast horizons of Haddiscoe Island. This triangular grazing marsh on the borders of Norfolk and Suffolk, enclosed by the rivers Waveney and Yare, feels far bigger than its 2,000 acres, and more remote than its position just off the A413 to Great Yarmouth should allow.

Continue reading...

‘Maybe worse than hoarding’: Trump implies hospital staff stealing masks– video

US president Donald Trump insinuates during a news conference that hospital staff in coronavirus hot spots such as New York city are stealing hundreds of thousands of surgical masks. He asked how the numbers of masks requested could shoot up from 10,000 to 300,000 overnight and said: ‘Are they going out the back door?’. Trump also lashed out at reporters who asked questions he did not like about his previous statements, telling, PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor: 'Don’t be threatening. Be nice'

Continue reading...

Hungary set to pass law that critics say will let Orbán rule by decree

Fears over lack of checks and balances in new law, which includes jail terms for spreading misinformation

Hungary is set to pass a new law on coronavirus that includes jail terms for spreading misinformation as critics warn that the nationalist prime minister Viktor Orbán could be given carte blanche to rule by decree, with no clear time limit.

Hungary’s parliament, in which Orbán’s Fidesz party has a two-thirds majority, looks set to pass the bill on Monday in spite of opposition from other political parties, who had demanded a time limit or sunset clause on the legislation.

Continue reading...

Australia coronavirus shutdown: what is open, closed and banned under the current rules?

These are the latest restrictions in place as part of the Australian government’s emergency response measures to the Covid-19 outbreak

On Sunday evening, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison outlined a further set of restrictions to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Here is an updated list of the federal government’s shutdown measures.

Continue reading...

Coronavirus in Australia: how many cases are there? Maps, latest numbers and statistics

We bring together all the Covid-19 confirmed cases, data and stats from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA, WA, Tasmania, ACT and NT to get a broad picture of the Australian outbreak and track the impact of government response

Due to the difference in reporting times between states, territories and the federal government, it can be difficult to get a current picture of how many confirmed cases of coronavirus there are in Australia.

Here, we’ve brought together all the figures in one place, along with comparisons with other countries.

Continue reading...

Coronavirus has forced New Zealanders abroad to choose: do I stay or do I go? | Elle Hunt

Many left for home without even the chance to say goodbye, knowing that their big overseas experience may be lost forever

Swapping in “aubergine” for “eggplant” and “pepper” for “capsicum” – when you remember. Watching two clocks, one 13 hours fast. Smugly renouncing Boris Johnson as “not MY prime minister”.

To some extent, the experience of being a New Zealander in London has always been one of being split between two places. Now the coronavirus crisis has forced us to pick one.

Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: US deaths could reach 200,000 as UK warned of six-month lockdown

US expert Dr Anthony Fauci makes grim prediction; Moscow announces lockdown of 12m people; Syria records first death. Follow the latest updates

In New York city, where mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier that he had asked the federal government to deliver 400 more ventilators to city hospitals by Wednesday and warned that without reinforcements the city will run out of masks, gowns and other hospital supplies in a week, a 68-bed field hospital is being built in Manhattan’s Central Park.

Samaritan’s Purse, a charity run by Christian evangelical preacher Franklin Graham, built a similar temporary facility in Italy to help deal with the crisis there.

He said the New York City version could be up and running Tuesday.

I’m in Central Park - they’re building field hospitals for coronavirus patients

Dozens of prisoners broke furniture and torched buildings during a riot in a Thai jail on Sunday sparked by fears of a coronavirus outbreak in the facility, AFP reports.

During the violence some convicts escaped from the Buriram prison where more than 2,000 are held, the justice ministry said. Seven have been arrested.

Continue reading...

John Prine: singer-songwriter critically ill with Covid-19 symptoms, family says

Musician has been hospitalized since Thursday and has been placed on a ventilator

The country musician John Prine has been hospitalised in a critical condition after experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. A post to his official Twitter account said that Prine, 73, had been hospitalised on Thursday and intubated on Saturday.

“This is hard news for us to share,” it says. “But so many of you have loved and supported John over the years, we wanted to let you know, and give you the chance to send on more of that love and support now. And know that we love you, and John loves you.”

Continue reading...

Keeping up your exercise during the coronavirus crisis – video

Australian academic, psychologist and author Lea Waters discusses the physiological and emotion benefits from keeping up, or developing, an exercise routine while self-isolating.  The video is the first in a multi-part series looking at ways we can all stay positive during the coronavirus crisis. 

Continue reading...